The Trump administration just announced it will officially withdraw from an aging nuclear missile treaty with Russia, a move that could kick-start an arms race and threaten the European continent — but also allow the US to better prepare for a war against China.
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump issued a statement that put the final nail in the coffin of the Cold War-era agreement, finalizing a decision that many experts — both happily and nervously — expected for months.
“Tomorrow, the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty,” Trump said. “For arms control to effectively contribute to national security, all parties must faithfully implement their obligations.”
In a press conference around the same time, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Russia has jeopardized United States security interests, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it.”
This is a big deal. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1987. The agreement prohibited Washington and Moscow from fielding ground-launched cruise missiles that could fly between 310 and 3,420 miles.
Read the full article and more in Vox.